Scholar Rock Announces Appointment of Leading Clinicians to Scientific Advisory Board
Professor Barry S. Coller, MD, and Akshay Vaishnaw, MD, PhD, provide scientific insight and significant clinical expertise in translational medicine
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 15, 2014 – Scholar Rock, a biotechnology company discovering and developing niche modulators that selectively target protein growth factors in the disease microenvironment, announced today the appointment of two new members of its Scientific Advisory Board:
- Barry S. Coller, MD, of The Rockefeller University
- Akshay Vaishnaw, MD, PhD, of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dr. Coller is Physician in Chief, Vice President for Medical Affairs and the David Rockefeller Professor at The Rockefeller University. An authority on the cardiovascular biology of integrins and TGF-beta, he is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and was founding president of the Society for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Coller is a pioneer in the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies for use as human therapeutics. He played the central role in discovering the active component and mechanism of abciximab (ReoPro®), and he was a leader in its subsequent clinical development resulting in one of the first FDA approvals of an antibody medicine.
Dr. Vaishnaw is Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. During his tenure at Alnylam, he has applied scientific creativity in driving the development of a novel class of medicines, RNAi therapeutics, from which six distinct programs have entered clinical trials under his leadership. Prior to joining Alnylam in 2006, Dr. Vaishnaw was Senior Director, Translational Medicine, at Biogen and led the successful development of alefacept (Amevive™), which was approved for the treatment of psoriasis.
“I am very excited to welcome Drs. Coller and Vaishnaw to our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Nagesh Mahanthappa, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and President of Scholar Rock. “Each brings a unique perspective rooted in developing novel therapeutic modalities for clinical use based on breakthrough scientific discoveries. Their insights will be invaluable to the successful advancement of Scholar Rock’s niche modulator therapies.”
The new scientific advisors join the inaugural members of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board, scientific authorities in the biology of protein growth factor signaling with focused expertise on the TGF-beta superfamily of growth factors: Timothy S. Springer, PhD (company co-founder; Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School); Leonard I. Zon, MD (company co-founder; Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School); Joan Massagué, PhD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center); Daniel Rifkin, PhD (New York University Langone Medical Center) and Lynn Sakai, PhD (Oregon Health & Sciences University and Portland Shriners Research Center).
About Scholar Rock
Scholar Rock is a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing niche modulators, a novel class of biologic therapies that selectively modulate the activation of growth factors in the disease microenvironment. The Company’s initial proprietary and partnered drug discovery programs target specific growth factors, including members of the TGF-beta superfamily, which are present in the microenvironments of significant diseases such as fibrosis, diseases of the musculoskeletal systems and autoimmune diseases. Scholar Rock was founded based on discoveries made by its scientific founders, Professors Tim Springer, PhD, and Leonard Zon, MD, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, related to the molecular mechanisms of growth factor activation. The company is backed by leading life sciences investors, including Polaris Partners, Timothy Springer, ARCH Venture Partners, EcoR1 Capital and The Kraft Group.
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